Asher Monroe / BWR
Asher Monroe starred in the 2009 film reboot of "Fame," sang in the boy band V Factory, appeared in countless Broadway shows and had a recurring stint on NBC's "Parenthood."
It's been a full life for the singer-actor, and he's only 24 years old. Although he's dabbled in many aspects of the entertainment industry, though, Monroe is setting his sights on something different: pop stardom.
"I'm enjoying being focused on one thing and doing it well," Monroe said during a recent visit to CBSNews.com.
Although Monroe enjoys acting and has been doing it since the age of seven, he's solely concentrating on music these days.
"For me I want to be the best singer I can possibly be," said Monroe, who got his break in the first national tour of "Beauty and the Beast." "I feel like it's is my duty. Acting is fun, but I think my destiny is music."
Monroe has been fulfilling that destiny over the past couple of years. Once he parted ways with V Factory, Monroe started something new.
"The last two and a half years I've just been writing. Before that I wasn't really writing my own material," he said. "Now it's really all me. I have songs that have a little inspiration from rock, a little R&B. Some are dance. I love writing ballads. And I think there are a lot of songs that showcase my vocal ability."
The Virginia native, who moved to New York before settling in Los Angeles, has already released a couple of singles and accompanying music videos -- just to test the musical waters.
"I think I also wanted to differentiate myself from the group I was in before," said Monroe, who says he's still friendly with the guys from V Factory. "I wanted to get my own unique sound. So for me, just releasing a few videos online just to see was more just to pull away and say, 'Hey, look. I'm doing my solo stuff now.' It's been great to see how well some of the videos have done. It was just to get a little buzz going."
He's now putting those songs on a full-length album, expected out in early 2013. Monroe recently teamed up with famed songwriter-producer Ryan Tedder, who also fronts the group OneRepublic. Together, they co-wrote and produced two songs, including the dance-pop single "Here With You."
"I feel like I have enough songs that I'm comfortable with an album," Monroe said. "I think 'Here With You' is that great song to just kind of set the mood of the album. It definitely represents me well and it's a great, fun and feel-good song."
When coming up with lyrics, Monroe says he gets inspiration from everything around him -- ranging from family to his travels.
"I like to think of my songs as more positive than negative," he said. "I try to share my heart...I just write whatever's on my mind. I don't really have too many limitations."
Check out Monroe's "Here With You" video: